indica News Bureau –
In a major breather for India’s Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a Californian jury unanimously rejected claims that the IT outsourcing giant had discriminated against non-South Asian workers in the US.
A nine-member California federal jury ruled that the Mumbai-based company did not have a “pattern or practice” of intentional discrimination based on race or national origin, a report on legal news site Law360 said.
The verdict came shortly after TCS was declared the only Indian company to get foreign labor certification for the H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2018, according to data from the US Department of Labor.
TCS went on trial on November 5 over a lawsuit filed by three former TCS employees – Christopher Slaight, Seyed Amir Masoudi and Nobel Mandili – who claimed they were discriminated against by being given fewer work opportunities, and were eventually fired because of their races and nationalities.
The lawsuit had also alleged that TCS let go 78 per cent of its non-South Asian workers who had been taken off job assignments, or “benched”, between 2011 and 2014, while only 22 per cent of benched South Asians were fired.
“We have always maintained the claims made in this case were baseless and we are gratified that the jury agreed. The success of TCS rests on the talents, expertise and deep industry knowledge of our employees, who help our customers in their growth and transformation journeys,” TCS spokesperson told indica on winning the case.
“Therefore, the decisions we make about the hiring and retention of employees are based purely on their capabilities and fit in serving our customers’ business needs,” he said, “Irrespective of their background or national origin, we will continue to invest in our people, provide ongoing digital training and empower them to succeed at TCS and, more importantly, enable our customers’ success.”
He further said that TCS is a global company. The United States is the world’s business and technology leader and very important to TCS, where TCS have been operating for over 40 years. Skilled American workers are critical to the success of the US business and to the nation’s economic success, and TCS will continue to invest heavily in the country’s workforce, academic alliances and company’s extensive youth STEM education initiatives.
The firm’s counsel argued that the company’s employment data shows that there has been a 400 per cent increase in local hires since 2011. The counsel also said at trial that most of the workers who alleged they had been fired were let go for refusing to “relocate for a job”.
A unit of the Tata Group, TCS employs over 400,000 people worldwide and is valued at $120 billion. It posted revenue of $19 billion for the fiscal year that ended in March. Most of its revenue comes from the US and its primary customers are in the financial services sector.
Last year, another Indian outsourcing giant Infosys, was similarly accused of bias against non-South Asian employees in a lawsuit filed by a former employee.
Also, HCL Technologies and Cognizant were sued in 2016 by two Walt Disney World technology workers in Orlando for allegedly conspiring to replace them with less costly Indian employees using H-1B visas.